The US company is linking up with BesTV New Media, a subsidiary of the Shanghai Media Group, to be its partner on the ground. The two formed a joint venture for home entertainment and gaming experiences last year, becoming the first company registered in the Shanghai Free Trade Zone agreement, which is part of the requirement for console-makers selling in China.
Microsoft says that the Xbox One will create “mutual opportunities for developers in China to bring their creative content to life both at home and abroad,” but it remains to be seen how the console will perform.
The lack of consoles has made Chinese gamers accustomed to playing on PCs, while piracy is commonplace and black market prices (for both games and consoles) are considerably lower than official Xbox prices — although Microsoft is yet to reveal how much the console, games and peripherals will cost in China.
Despite that, reports estimate that China’s game industry brought in $9.7 billion in revenue last year across all segments, and the figure could grow to $21.7 billion by 2017.
Microsoft’s announcement comes hours after Recode cited sources claiming that the Xbox One would indeed launch in China in September.